Customer Service Tip: Senior Citizen Discounts in Restaurants

Senator Angara put in place a law which benefits our senior citizens (those aged 60 years old and up). This mandates that senior citizens be given a 20% discount off medicines, food bill in restaurants, among others.

While the law's objectives are quite noble, implementing it is another thing – quite like most of the laws here in the Philippines. I have encountered several establishments who give all sorts of excuses for not recognizing that such a law exists. I guess they are worried about their margins but the law is the law.

So far, I have come across three establishments. Two quite popular Chinese restaurants and a halo-halo place. Chinese Resto 1 said that they had to have a meeting on the matter but my boss insisted and said that he wanted to talk to the manager or owner. He also says: “Hindi yan ang nakalagay sa batas.” After much arguing, Chinese Resto 1 agrees and proceeds to give my boss an even bigger discount – true proof that they weren't used to granting the discount in the first place.

Chinese Resto 2 says that they can only give a 20% discount if you pay in cash while if you pay using your credit card, they can only give 10%. The halo-halo place only gives 10% since they say their margins are too small.

My tip to establishments? Just abide by the law. Refusing to honor the 20% discount does not help your marketing any. As for customers, you may want to ask before you eat if they do honor the 20% discount. If they honor it, go ahead and order and then eat. If not, you can simply walk away. And if you happen to forget to ask and then find out after eating that they won't give you the 20% even after much arguing, you don't really need to return to that place again. You can scratch the restaurant's name off from your list of places to eat at. So there.

[By Angelica Viloria | Tuesday, November 1, 2005]

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